Kyle Rittenhouse is a murderer. Despite what the jury and the judge say, we all know that he is a murderer. Like many armed white men before him, he killed people and got away with murder.
As there was never any denying that he had in fact shot two people to death and permanently disfigured a third. Rittenhouse’s defense was that he acted in self defense. It was always a ludicrous claim, no less so now that he’s been wrongfully acquitted. He carried his assault rifle up to a crowd of protesters. One of them allegedly tried to take the gun away from him, he opened fire, because he “feared for his life.” At most, he would have been disarmed and there’s a decent chance he might have been beaten up, but the assertion that the protesters would have killed him is unfounded and extremely unlikely. Much of the case centered around that moment, when Rittenhouse felt “threatened” and responded with deadly force. Ridiculous as it is, the jury accepted the argument that the little piece of shit was frightened for his life in that moment and that he responded appropriately.
Rather than asking what happened at the moment when Rittenhouse murdered two people and maimed another, there should have been much more thought given to what led to that moment. The real question was never so much whether his murder and maiming of three people was justified, but more whether his presence and his possession of a deadly weapon were. Whether he felt threatened at that moment is less relevant than the acknowledgment that he was a threatening presence at the event. He had no justifiable reason to be there. He went with the intent of parading around with his gun, intimidating people, and was ready to shoot them at the first provocation. He was a threat.
If some asshole with zero authority comes up to you brandishing a weapon of war, you might find your fight or flight instinct kicking in. You might run, as Rittenhouse probably wanted, or you might fight back, which Rittenhouse probably also wanted.
He chose to be somewhere he should not have been, with a weapon he should not have had. He threatened people. He created a conflict in which he could say he felt threatened. He murdered people. He has shown no remorse. He shed crocodile tears at the imagined memory of having his own life threatened, and the indignity of being put on trial, but none for the people he murdered. He expressed concern only for himself. He is likely a sociopath. He is by all appearances a white supremacist. He is a fascist. He is a murderer.
Judge Schroeder seems like a real piece of shit as well, and certainly biased. He dismissed the gun charges against Rittenhouse, disregarding that it was illegal for Rittenhouse to own, openly carry, and cross state lines with his AK-15, let alone threaten people with it. Even if none of that was against the law, it all should be.
Schroeder instructed the court to applaud a witness for the defense. The witness was a veteran, and it was Veteran’s Day, and so that could be excused as the judge showing some performative patriotism, except that it is profoundly fucking weird and not something that should be done. You do not applaud for witnesses in a trial. It’s a clear display of bias and is so fucking weird.
Schroeder also rather infamously insisted that Rittenhouse’s victims not be called “victims,” but said that they could be called “looters, rioters, or arsonists,” if the defense could make a case for them being any of those things. This is at least an apparent consistency for Schroeder, who’s denied the right of prosecutors to call people victims before, the reasoning being that the point of the trial is to determine whether they’re victims. However, saying that the defense can make a case for them being looters, rioters, or arsonists is absurd. Not only would doing so be done to make the jury biased against the victims, two of the three of whom are dead and unable to defend themselves, that’s not what the trial was about. If you want to put two corpses and the guy who got a big chunk of his arm blown off on trial, by all means. Whatever they were doing at the time they were murdered, none of it would justify their execution with an assault rifle by a random kid whose mom drove him in from out of state.
All of this does not mean that the judge was necessarily biased towards Rittenhouse personally, but to the free ownership and liberal use of firearms, vigilantism, militarism, conservatism goose stepping right over the line to fascism, and other trappings of white supremacy, from which Rittenhouse happens to benefit.
Not discussed enough is Rittenhouse’s mother. Wendy Rittenhouse should also be charged and summarily convicted. She has reportedly defended her murderer son by saying that it was either his life or those of the protestors, that if he didn’t kill them they would have killed him. But his life and their lives would never have been in danger if she had not driven her heavily armed and murderous little bitch boy over twenty miles from Antioch to Kenosha, across state lines, to run around and shoot protesters, in the first place. What the fuck kind of mother does that? Regardless of what the law says, her behavior is criminal. If I’d asked my mother at seventeen to drive me and my gun from Philly to Wilmington so that I could shoot at protesters if they happen to vandalize a Foot Locker, she’d first ask me what the fuck I was doing with a gun?; second, what the fuck is wrong with me?; and third, what are those dirty dishes still doing in the sink when she told me to wash them last night? Because I have a good, sane mother. Only shitty, insane mothers drive their killer kids to fascist vigilante murder parties.
This case sets a precedent, as if historically our morally diseased justice system didn’t have ample fodder already, under which a person, so long as they’re white, can carry a gun, any gun, anywhere, and if anyone comes near them, gives even a hint that they might disarm him, he can murder them, claim self defense, and get off. Any murderer can claim self defense if they can make the case that someone was trying to take their murder weapon. Men like Rittenhouse, rather than facing justice, can count on exoneration from corrupt judges and juries, the praise and support of the fascist right, and a future in law enforcement, where he’ll make a career brutalizing and killing more civilians.